Every day, I used to see a lot of single women in my office, women who—despite being smart, successful and attractive — complain that the dating world isn’t being kind to them and they would rather stay single. However, the pressures of growing up don’t go hand in hand with being single due to the tradition of clocking a certain age and your family & relatives expecting a husband and children from you.
So here you are; of late, you’ve been thinking about your future and at the same time, you’ve seen your friends getting married. You get to your computer in the morning and the first thing you see as you scroll through Facebook is yet ANOTHER friend engaged or sharing photos of their fancy wedding at the coast.
You’ve been thinking about settling down and having kids, but the problem is your long-term boyfriend hasn’t proposed to you yet. He says he’s happy and you’ve been living together for years, but he hasn’t popped the question yet. What do you do?
This was my situation. A 30 year old lady in a loving relationship of over 5 years but my boyfriend Mike, just wasn’t going the next step; and I was scared.
When we first decided to become serious in the relationship, I knew that this would lead somewhere and more so, Mike looked like a serious guy. His friends all vouched for him, they swore that he never cheated and I believed him. He had a decent job, we both shared responsibilities in our house and we never went to bed angry. All disputes were settled before saying goodnight to each other and life seemed perfect.
But this was almost 6 years down the line and there were no signs of Mike proposing, and I was getting paranoid that I had made a serious mistake with him. He had said several times that we will be engaged by a certain date, and I have watched said dates come and go and no proposal ever came. I love him dearly, trust him, and know he’s committed to me, and I was so excited about our future, but what was causing him to go back on his word?
I asked him when we would be settling down and he said he had just gotten a new job and once he was stable we would get married. Marriage was an expensive affair and we needed to be financially ready. I just wanted to know BASICALLY when so that I’d know we’re on the same page. I didn’t want him to drag me along and then marry someone else but for the past 6 years, that wasn’t the vibe I was getting from him.
However, this wasn’t the biggest concern. It was what I did after.
It had been six months since that conversation and since nothing was happening I made the decision to propose to him.
I was in a situation where I didn’t know if I was ever going to end up getting married to Mike and it terrified me to not picture him in my life, so I went to the bank, withdrew Kshs 190,000, bought a ring and gave it to him to propose to me. However, when I actually gave him the ring to give to me, everything went downhill.
The money had never been an issue for us since we both had well-paying jobs and I figured that I needed to give him a little push but we started fighting immediately after he saw the ring and knew the amount of money I spent on it – he even asked me to return it.
Mike: “What do you mean you bought a ring?” He looked angry.
Me: “Babe, I’m tired of waiting for you to propose. It’s been 6 years and there’s no sign of you doing it any time soon.”
Mike: “Are you trying to say that I’m not man enough to go down on one knee and propose to you? Are you trying to say that I don’t love you enough to marry you? For God’s sake, we’ve started living together after 5 months of dating. We have joint bank accounts, we share responsibilities around the house, we’ve been through so much together, and you still don’t think I love you enough?” I could tell he was getting worked up because he was pacing around.
Me: “I didn’t say you don’t love me. I know you do, but I want something more. I want us to declare our love to the entire world.” I went to him and tried to touch his arm, but he moved away.
Mike: “You decided that love would start at Kshs 190,000! What were you thinking? With a ring that expensive, what kind of wedding do you think we’ll have? Because I just foresee debt in our future!”
Me: “Is that what you’re worried about? The money? We have very good jobs, we can figure out the mechanics of the finances love.” I was starting to get annoyed. This is not how I had figured this proposal would go. I thought he would be happy and right now we would be planning our future.
Mike: (raising his voice) “it’s not about the money! Why are you all of a sudden rushing me to the altar?”
Now I was pissed off. After 6 years shouldn’t we have been on the way to the altar? I was rushing him? Why were we living together and we were not going to get married?
Me: “This is not an all-of-a-sudden decision! We’ve been together for almost 6 years now! I know of friends who got married in less time.”
Mike: “So now you’re comparing what we have to what your friends have? I am not getting married because your friends are getting married.” He grabbed his car keys and headed to the door.
Me: “Babe, babe please don’t walk away from this. Please!”
He said I was too “marriage obsessed” and I needed to let him breathe.
I feel like I’ve wasted so much of my life with him. For the first time since we moved in together, he didn’t sleep at home like he usually does. This was the biggest fight we have had and I am feeling like my world was over. I never meant to emasculate him, I never meant for him to feel inferior in any way.
At the moment, I’m sitting on the floor crying my eyes out. I don’t even know if we’re still together anymore. Did I make a mistake in buying the ring? Did I make a mistake in staying too long with Mike without him proposing? Should I just let it go? Should I let him go?
***This story is loosely based on a story that was on social media. Single lady in Nairobi is a collection of real-life stories and opinions from different women. It looks at the current world of dating and the experiences that ladies have gone through. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Potentash.com.
The singlehood series is a collection of real-life stories and opinions from different people. It looks at the current world of dating around the world and the experiences that people have gone through.